April 17, 2010
WWE has mask appeal
By TIM BAINES, QMI Agency

Phoenix Coyotes backup goalie Jason LaBarbera might not be the Showstopper, but the puck stopper has Shawn Michaels featured prominently on his mask.

With the Coyotes in the heat of their playoff battle with the Detroit Red Wings, LaBarbera's mask has a Wrestlemania theme, featuring two of its classic matches -- The Undertaker vs. Michaels and Bret "The Hitman" Hart vs. Mr. McMahon.

The mask also features Hart's heart and skull logo on the chin, with a howling coyote on the forehead.

"I was a huge wrestling fan growing up," LaBarbera told wwe.com. "When I was a kid, I was never allowed to get the pay-per-views. I'd always go to someone else's house. I couldn't wait for Saturdays and (Superstars of Wrestling).

"The one fun thing about being a goalie is getting to create a mask, and to add things on it that are part of your personality ... WrestleMania was here in Phoenix, so I thought it would be cool to put the two marquee matches and the guys involved on my helmet."

LaBarbera, nicknamed Brutus by his teammates (Brutus LaBarbera Beefcake) said attending Wrestlemania was a huge highlight.

"Being Canadian and being a big Bret Hart fan, seeing him come back like he did, was pretty cool."

Kiniski dies

canada's self-proclaimed "Greatest Athlete" is dead at 81. Gene Kiniski died of cancer on Wednesday. Whether he was our best athlete might be up for debate, but his status as one of our greatest wrestlers shouldn't. Kiniski had legendary battles with stars like Whipper Billy Watson, Killer Kowalski, Sweet Daddy Siki, Don Leo Jonathan and Haystacks Calhoun.

Eugene Nicholas Kiniski, who also played two CFL seasons for the Eskimos, was born in the Edmonton area, to Nicolas and Julia Kiniski.


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